House Approves Economic Stimulus Bill

The Democratic-controlled House has approved an $819 billion economic stimulus package critical to President Barack Obama's plan to revive the economy.

The House vote came after days of intense lobbying by the new president, including personal appeals to congressional Republicans.

GOP lawmakers spurned Obama, saying the bill contains too much spending and not enough tax cuts.

Democrats argued that the bill was imperative with the economy in the worst shape since the Depression.

The legislation includes an estimated $544 in federal spending and $275 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses. It includes money for highway construction and mass transit.

The Senate is working on a costlier version of the bill.

President Barack Obama is thanking the House for passing a massive economic stimulus package and promising to "continue to strengthen" the plan as it works its way through congressional approval.

Obama issued a written statement after Wednesday night's vote in the House, in which no Republicans joined Democrats in support.

He said, in his words, "what we can't do is drag our feet or allow the same partisan differences to get in our way."

Obama asked Congress to move "swiftly and boldly" to give the legislation final approval.

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